Last week, I was graciously invited to compete in El Torneo de La Raza in Costa Rica. After hearing so much about this amazing event, I was very happy to be able to attend.
The tournament consisted of several events and each day consisted of a 4-game block of bowling. The tournament also organized nightly parties, as well as an excursion day in the middle of the week.
The first day, we participated in a clinic and pro-am event and then had a delicious BBQ at the hotel, followed by opening ceremonies for the tournament.
One added feature to this year’s tournament was the addition of LIVE national television coverage for the entire tournament on TV station Teletica. Each day, the TV station would film either the men or women bowling their squad and rotated back and forth throughout the week.
Sunday, started our first day of qualifying in the Doubles event. I was paired with Costa Rican local Sussie Jimenez. Overall, we ended up +51 as a team, which put us in second place behind Diana Zavjalova and Sylvia Villalobos. I shot games of 225, 246, 193 and 226 for +90 using my NEW Hammer Bad Intentions Hybrid and Track Paradox.
The next day, we moved down to the low end of the house at Bol Cariari and the lanes proved to be a bit more tricky. I shot games of 225, 162, 208 and 235 and Sussie and I were +47 overall and gained some ground on 1st place.
Tuesday, was our final day of the doubles event. I started out great shooting 255, but then completely lost my look as the lanes got really wet/dry and I was fighting with over/under ball reaction for most of the block. Sussie bowled really well, shooting games of 197, 203, 175 and 239 and she definitely held me up. This put us at +46 overall which earned us 2nd place in the Doubles Event. Congratulations to Diana and Sylvia for winning and to Juliana Botero and Juliana Franco from Colombia who finished in 3rd place.
That night we had the Mexican theme party, which was a lot of fun! The tournament committee organized a Mexican singer/dancer to perform as well as a mariachi band. There was also a fun photo booth set up. Here are a few pictures from the party…
On Wednesday, we had our excursion where we travelled to the Costa Rican rainforest and visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This was by far one of my favorite days of the trip. The tropical lodge had a bird sanctuary, butterfly sanctuary, monkeys, big jungle cats, frogs and snakes as well as a gorgeous trail to several waterfalls. It was absolutely amazing. The highlight of my trip was getting to hold a Toucan!
Then on Thursday and Friday, we bowled the Singles portion of the tournament. I struggled a bit and shot -8 the first day and then shot -1 the following day for -9 overall, which put me in 5th place. Congratulations to Karen Diosa from Puerto Rico for winning the Singles event, Juliana Franco for coming in 2nd and Clara Guerrero for coming in 3rd place.
Then in Individual All-Events, I finished 2nd with +118. My partner Sussie Jimenez and I also came in 2nd place in Team All-Events.
Saturday was our final day of competition. The top 12 female bowlers in All Events competed in a 3-game qualifying for the TV Exhibition match. Since I was in the top 2 in individual All Events, I was automatically seeded for the TV show, but needed to bowl well to try and improve my seed because the top 2 are automatically seeded 4th and 5th position. I bowled very well, but didn’t score as well, shooting games of 195, 202 and 210 to qualify in 4th place for the TV show stepladder finals.
|Top 5 for TV Show Exhibition Stepladder Finals|
In the opening match, I faced Diana Zavjalova. The match was close with both of us having some carry issues and the pair being very tough. I actually used my Hammer Bad Intentions Hybrid on the left lane and my Track Paradox on the right lane. I had a chance to win the match by doubling in the 10th frame. I got the first strike in the 10th, but didn’t manage to get the second hit, thus finishing in 5th place for the TV show. HUGE congratulations to my Doubles partner Sussie Jimenez for winning the TV exhibition match against Colombian superstar Clara Guerrero.
That night we had the closing ceremonies and awards banquet. The trophies were absolutely incredible! BIG thank you to Mauricio Murillo Gonzalez for inviting me to this amazing tournament. Thank you to EBI for sponsoring the event. I had such a great time all week, gained new friendships and made some everlasting memories.
|Team All Events Winners|
|Individual All Events Winners|
Now, it’s on to Las Vegas for the PBA Fall Classic. Stay tuned on www.pba.com for all the scores from the Doubles and Singles competition. And tune into Xtra Frame to watch all of the action LIVE!